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have to have that first vote done in a timely way so that both senator reid and senator mcconnell can leave to have the designated meeting with president obama. mr. cochran: mr. president, let me join with the senator from maryland in commending all senators for the expeditious way we've been able to move this bill but particularly the chairwoman herself, who's provided strong leadership, capable leadership, fairness, a sense of fairness for all senators, and i thank her for the honor of serving with her on this committee. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate senatorses can attend the weekly caucus meetings. this morning they approve and extension of the farm intelligence v it allows the government to continue intercepting overseas communication. it extends legal immunity phone companies that help the government wiretap the domestic phone calls. president obama plans to sign the bill. when the senate is back we are expecting senators to continued work on the $60 billion hurricane sandy relief package. negotiations continue on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.
adjourned yesterday, majority leader harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell debated the fiscal cliff and talked about negotiations surrounding the tax hikes and automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect in a few days. this is about 5 minutes -- 15 minutes. >> madam president, you'll excuse me if i'm a little frustrated at the situation we find ourselves in, but last night president obama called myself and the speaker and maybe others from hawaii and asked if there was something we could do to avoid the fiscal cliff. i say i'm a little frustrated, because we've been asking the president and the democrats to work with us on a bipartisan agreement for months, literallye for months. a plan that would simplify theod tax code, shrink the deficit, protect the taxpayers and grow the economy. but democrats consistently rejected those offers. the president chose instead to spend his time on the campaign trail. reelected. and congressional democrats sat on theirel hands. now republicans have bent over backwards. we stepped way, way out of our comfort zone. we wanted an agreement. w but w
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